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In Camera vs. Post


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#1 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 02:05 PM

I was wondering where most cinematographers draw this line, since so many effects can be achieved now in the editing room. Just the other day I was talking to an editor about the use of nets on the lens, his response: "that's easy to do in FCP"... Or as far as setting black levels, and color saturation, and detail, all of these in camera devices, from what I understand can be done in post really easily. And even with filters now, there are effects that allow an enormous amount of precision when it comes to filters, and it is possible to basically create filters in post. So why add another piece of glass to the lens? Why use that net? I'm really curious about this balance, and peoples thoughts on that old saying "fix it in post" which has become a good thing to a lot of editors, since many times changed settings, and filters limit their creativity and options.
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#2 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 02:56 PM

Keep in mind that for the examples you give doing such things in post is going to be more expensive. Next, in the professional world of features and TV, studio execs. are looking at dailies and want them to look really good. If the dailies are unfinished or don't look good then the phone will ring and the "should we fire the DP?" conversation may happen between the studio and the EPs. Then you also want to consider that the DP is not always around for the post process, and in some cases they are not welcome. So any work slated to be done in post, can be, and often is, done by someone other than the DP. There are some things that are better to do in post but it depends on what you want. From my experience in the realm of TV the DP is always better off crafting as much of the look as they can on set. It saves money in the long run and keeps everyone happy along the way.
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#3 Ayz Waraich

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 03:23 PM

I was wondering where most cinematographers draw this line, since so many effects can be achieved now in the editing room. Just the other day I was talking to an editor about the use of nets on the lens, his response: "that's easy to do in FCP"... Or as far as setting black levels, and color saturation, and detail, all of these in camera devices, from what I understand can be done in post really easily. And even with filters now, there are effects that allow an enormous amount of precision when it comes to filters, and it is possible to basically create filters in post. So why add another piece of glass to the lens? Why use that net? I'm really curious about this balance, and peoples thoughts on that old saying "fix it in post" which has become a good thing to a lot of editors, since many times changed settings, and filters limit their creativity and options.


Personally some things never look quite as good if added in post. I can't put my finger on it, but certain effects and choices seem more organic if they're done live. They became part of the fabric of the visuals, as opposed to an effect.

I have nothing against the idea of doing things in post though, so long as it's not a lazy "we'll figure it out later" type impulse. I find if I add things in post, it usually takes a lot of work to get it to feel organic, and isn't an easy thing at all, which always makes me wish i'd thought of it on set and figured it out then. It would've been easier and would've looked better.

There are exceptions of course I'm sure.
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Willys Widgets

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